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Rumour: Arsenal set to lose out on Barcelona starlet

2.34K   //    09 Jan 2014, 10:36 IST

UEFA Youth League - Barcelona v Ajax

Arsenal were dealt another blow in their pursuit of a striker to the fill the void, when Barcelona forward Antonio Sanabria announced that he is set to join Roma, after months of speculation linking him to Arsenal.

The Paraguayan international who is only 17 years old, has been making waves in the Barcelona’s youth academy, ever since he joined in 2009.  He moved to La Masia a year later and in September 2012, Sanabria was called up by then manager Tito Vilanova to train with first team.

Earlier this season, the Paraguayan striker, who already has 3 senior international caps to his name, was promoted to FC Barcelona B and made his professional debut, when he came on in the second half of a 0–1 home loss against RCD Mallorca.

However, just a couple of months later, Sanabria rejected a contract extension from Barça and that fuelled speculation that he wanted out of the club. But, just a few days later, he scored his first professional goal. Although he is yet to make his debut for the senior side, Metro reported in December that Arsenal were leading a pack of clubs, who were keen on the Paraguayan’s signature in January.

But Arsenal’s hopes of signing the forward was dashed as he revealed that he has signed a contract with Roma. Speaking to Radio Monumental 1080 AM, Sanabria said “Roma already put the necessary money to the Spanish Federation for the clause asked by Barcelona”

Sanabria also went out to say that he isn’t likely to join up the first team right away and will probably go out on loan in Serie A, before catching up with the first team in the summer. On his immediate future, the Paraguayan added “I’ll go on loan to another Serie A team.”

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